123 – Winter – 2013 – Semi Finals Wrap

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Sunraysia Table Tennis Winter Pennant results Semi Finals: –

PENNANT ONE: 

– First Semi (knockout) Mallee Bearings 6 (Mark Dorman, Ali Taheri 2, Graeme O’Neill 1) d Fishers IGA 4 (Gavin Carmichael 3)

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Max Miller Carpets 6 (Mark Ljubic, Shane Carmichael, Sony Sefer 2) d Pinnacle Packers 5 (Wayne Carmichael 3).

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Pinnacle Packers vs. Mallee Bearings

PENNANT TWO: 

– First Semi (knockout) Spanline 6 (Geoff Wright 3, Arnold Jago 2) d Fishers IGA 3 (Andrew Jones, Lachlan Kelly 1)

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Tankard Dental 6 (Nicholas Dorman 2, Bernadette Fitzpatrick 1) d Pinnacle Packers 2 (Matt Ljubic 2)

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Pinnacle Packers vs. Spanline

PENNANT THREE: 

– First Semi (knockout) Weightmans Packaging 6 (Peter Kelly 3, Roy Cubit, Ben Hosking 1) d Bishop Builders 5 (Claire Ljubic, Graham Southwell 2)

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Fishers IGA 6 (Cole Keegan 3, Sam Hensgen 1) d Mallee Bearings 3 (Sabrina Fitzpatrick 2, Michael Hensgen 1)

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Mallee Bearings vs. Weightmans Packaging

 

p1Sony Sefer whether by fluke, miracle or pure motivation (perhaps a combination of all three) managed to overcome a long standing hoodoo against opposite number 3 Peter Midgley to advance Max Miller Carpets to the 2013 Winter Pennant Grand Final.

PENNANT ONE:

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Max Miller Carpets 6 (Mark Ljubic, Shane Carmichael, Sony Sefer 2) d Pinnacle Packers 5 (Wayne Carmichael 3).

Ladder leaders Max Miller Carpets have advanced to the pennant one grand final with a come from behind 6-5 win over Pinnacle Packers in the second semi final.

With skipper Rick McMeekin suffering an injury at tennis on the weekend and out of the side replacement Mark Ljubic played his part winning two singles while number two Shane Carmichael continued his solid season also winning two singles.p1Carpeters number three, Sony Sefer however was the difference between the two teams as he played his best table tennis for the season winning two very important singles at crucial times during the contest. He was able to get his team off to the best start when he outlasted difficult opponent John Gray 8-11 11-8 11-9 11-8. Later when the match was in the balance and a position directly into the grand final up for grabs Sefer took his table tennis to a new level. Up against Peter Midgley in the decider Sefer blazed away with huge forehands right from the start and did not look back as he played inspiring table tennis against an opponent who he had never looked like defeating in the past. Sefer shelved his normal conservative style against Midgley for an all out attack method and it paid off with his team now favourites to take out the flag particularly now that McMeekin has two weeks to get over his injury.p1Max Miller Carpets took a two games to love lead early before Packers skipper Wayne Carmichael steadied the boat to win a singles and then team up with John Gray in the first doubles to defeat Mark Ljubic and Shane Carmichael 6-11 11-8 11-89-11 11-6. With Carmichael W winning three singles and tasting success in both doubles the Packers took a 5-4 lead but with Shane Carmichael accounting for John Gray in straight sets the scores were levelled. Sefer then accounted for p1Midgley 11-7 11-5 11-6 to take his team to the 2013 pennant one grand final much to the delight of his team mates.

 

– First Semi (knockout) Mallee Bearings 6 (Mark Dorman, Ali Taheri 2, Graeme O’Neill 1) d Fishers IGA 4 (Gavin Carmichael 3)

In the elimination final played on the stage court Mallee Bearings advanced to the preliminary final by accounting for Fishers IGA 6-4. In an even team effort Mark Dorman, Ali Taheri and Graeme O’Neill won two, two and one singles respectively while the doubles were shared. With Darren Robinson out of the Fishers team due to health reasons (or motivation) it was fill in Kevin Johns who worked really hard to keep his team alive.p1In his match against Graeme O’Neill he fought bravely but it was O’Neill who took the points 12-10 9-11 7-11 11-8 11-9 in a close tussle. This important result gave the Mallee Bearings combination a 4-3 lead and when in the very next match Mark Dorman and Ali Taheri  combined to defeat Gavin Carmichael and Ashley Morrison 11-9 11-7 6-11 13-11. Carmichael then stalled Mallee Bearings by defeating Mark Dorman in four sets.

p1With Mallee Bearings now leading 5-4 Ali Taheri stepped up to the table against Kevin Johns and this game was a real arm wrestle as Johns attempted to keep his team alive. Taheri showed great concentration taking a two games to one lead. He then took an 8-3 lead in the fourth before Johns clawed his way back to grab a game point. Taheri stayed calm and grabbed the fourth 13-11 and with that he booked his team a spot in the preliminary final against Pinnacle Packers.

 

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Pinnacle Packers vs. Mallee Bearings

 

PENNANT TWO:

A resurgent Spanline side took on Fishers IGA in the knock-out semi final and minor Premiers Tankard Dental met runners-up Pinnacle Packers in the match for a spot in the Grand Final.

– First Semi (knockout) Spanline 6 (Geoff Wright 3, Arnold Jago 2) d Fishers IGA 3 (Andrew Jones, Lachlan Kelly 1)

Spanline, the team which until the very final round of the season occupied bottom spot on the ladder, continued their late surge in this competition when they defeated Fishers IGA in this match.

Once again, Geoff Wright was the star of the show, again bagging three singles wins, dropping just one set in the process.

Spanline got off to a bolter of a start, almost having the match in the bag at five rubbers to one before Fishers put some respectability into the score at 5-3.

p1Captain Arnold Jago played two singles, and won them both, a very hard fought five setter, 2-11, 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 11-9 with Tony Malycha warmed him up at the start, and later he almost let opposing captain Andrew Jones get away with their match.  Leading two sets to love 11-7, 11-9, Jago lost concentration and Jones was quickly back into the match, taking the third and fourth 11-4, 11-7.  Jago recovered well though, and convincingly took the fifth 11-6.  Earlier, Jago and Wright had won the first doubles in another five setter against Jones and Malycha.  Giving the opposition two sets start, 7-11, 10-12, Jago and Wright finally got their games’ worked out to storm back in the final three, taking them 7, 3 and 8.

p1It was only fitting that the winning rubber, the ninth, should be won by Geoff Wright in a game against opposing captain Andrew Jones.  Wright’s improvement this season has been inexorable, and he is probably now the defacto number one in this team.

For Fishers, both Andrew Jones and Lachlan Kelly picked up a win, both against Spanline’s George Papanicolaou.  Both these matches could have so easily also gone to Spanline, Papanicolaou just failing to get over the line in the fifth set in each rubber.  The second doubles also went to Fishers when this same pair, defeated Jago and Papanicolaou in four sets.

So, that is the end of the season for Fishers IGA, and Spanline are looking with relish at their clash with Matt Ljubic’s Pinnacle Packers team next week.

 

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Tankard Dental 6 (Nicholas Dorman 2, Bernadette Fitzpatrick 1) d Pinnacle Packers 2 (Matt Ljubic 2)

This top of the table clash was really anti-climatic.  As they have done all year, Tankard Dental again took the honours, leading home Pinnacle Packers six rubbers to two.

This match was over fairly quickly, six of the rubbers being decided in three sets, one in four and only one in five.

p1Nicholas Dorman took two quick wins for Tankard Dental, downing Glen Bell 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 and Seval Fuat 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.

The rubber of the night was the doubles featuring Nicholas Dorman and Peter Fitzpatrick for Tankard’s and Matt Ljubic and Glen Bell for Pinnacle Packers.  p1Dorman and Fitzpatrick are the most successful doubles combination in this competition, having won twelve of their fifteen contests this year.  In this match they led comfortably 11-6, 11-7, and seemed to be coasting merrily to a three set win.  But the wheels fell off.  Ljubic and Bell’s game lifted, and some opportune nets and edges helped their cause, (and their score).  Struggle as they might, the minor-premiers could not prevent the Packers pair evening the match with 11-8 scores in the third and fourth sets.  It seemed that it was destined to end that way, too, Ljubic and Bell enjoying good fortune in the fifth to hold a match point at 10-8.  In a typical never-say-die effort, Dorman engineered two stunning shots to equalize at 10-10.  Lady Luck then shone on the other end of the table, and the Tankard Dental snuck home 12-10.

Earlier, Dorman and Bernadette Fitzpatrick outclassed Ljubic and Seval Fuat in three sets, 7, 4 and 7.

Pinnacle Packers would be disappointed with this performance, as only Matt Ljubic was able to contribute to their score.  He defeated Peter Fitzpatrick in three, and later, after dropping the first set to Bernadette Fitzpatrick, went onto win that match 5-11, 11-3, 11-4, 13-11; Bernadette almost forcing the match into the fifth set.

Tankard’s get the week’s rest, and go straight into the Grand Final, whilst Pinnacle Packers will have to be on their toes next week against Spanline.  Last time these two sides met, Spanline’s Geoff Wright defeated Matt Ljubic, to set up a win for his side.

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Pinnacle Packers vs. Spanline

 

PENNANT THREE:

The First Semi Final in this Pennant Three clash featured teams three and four on the ladder, Weightmans Packaging and Bishop Builders in a knockout contest.  Weightmans had won all three of their previous clashes and were led by their in-form captain Peter Kelly who has won 16 of his previous 18 singles rubbers.  The Second Semi Final promised to be an interesting match.  Minor Premiers Mallee Bearings had won two of their three matches with second-placed Fishers IGA.  Fishers had the aggregate winner Cole Keegan leading them, and Mallee Bearings had the runner-up, Sabrina Fitzpatrick.

 

– First Semi (knockout) Weightmans Packaging 6 (Peter Kelly 3, Roy Cubit, Ben Hosking 1) d Bishop Builders 5 (Claire Ljubic, Graham Southwell 2)

Weightmans Packaging captain Peter Kelly was the difference between these two sides in this elimination semi-final.  Kelly stamped his authority on the match, taking three singles, and with Ben Hosking, the second doubles.p1Kelly had little trouble in his singles, dropping just one set, this to Bishop Builders number three Jeff Hards in the first round of singles.  From then on he was in control, winning 8, 4 and 9 against Graham Southwell and 7, 10 and 7 in the final round of singles against his opposite number Claire Ljubic.

Bishop Builders got off to a good start … at the conclusion of the first doubles, which Ljubic and Southwell won in four sets against Kelly and Roy Cubit, they led three rubbers to one.  However, by the time the second doubles was complete, Weightmans had evened things up at four all, and so this match was set to go full term.

To that point, both captains had won two rubbers each, each side a doubles, Cubit a rubber for Weightmans and Southwell one for Bishops.

Kelly defeated Ljubic in three sets, Southwell did the same to Cubit, and it was left to the number three’s to decide the result. p1Ben Hosking who has averaged not quite one rubber per match this season, won one here when it counted.  He was not really troubled, defeating Jeff Hards 8, 5 and 8.

Weightmans play Mallee Bearings next week in another elimination match.  The experience of Peter Kelly and Roy Cubit will certainly hold them in good stead.

 

– Second Semi (winner to grand final) Fishers IGA 6 (Cole Keegan 3, Sam Hensgen 1) d Mallee Bearings 3 (Sabrina Fitzpatrick 2, Michael Hensgen 1)

Despite having won two of their three encounters this season, Mallee Bearings were never really on even terms with winners Fishers IGA in this clash.

At the conclusion of the first doubles, Fishers had skipped to a three rubbers to one lead; Sam Hensgen had defeated Peter Edwards in four sets, captain Cole Keegan needing only three to down Michael Hensgen, and Keegan and Hensgen taking the doubles against Sabrina Fitzpatrick and Michael Hensgen after being two sets to love down.  The Mallee Bearings pair took the first two hard fought sets 14-12, 11-9, only for the Fishers duo to fight back magnificently 11-7, 11-8 to square at two sets all.  The fifth set was nip-and-tuck, but Keegan and Hensgen prevailed winning it 12-10.

Mallee Bearings could not claw those rubbers back; after being down 3-1, it became 4-2, 4-3, 6-3.

The player who was the architect of this win was Fishers captain Cole Keegan.  p1He won three singles and helped his teammates to both doubles.  The second doubles win was somewhat easier than the first.  Keegan and Helen Frania terminated that contest in three sets 11-7, 11-9, 15-13.  That was five rubbers, the sixth contributed by Sam Hensgen in the first rubber when he played Peter Edwards.  Hensgen and Edwards have had a fairly even year, although Hensgen has had the better of it.  They have each defeated each other once in five sets, and on the third occasion, Hensgen rattled off the win in three.

p1Mallee Bearings captain Sabrina Fitzpatrick fought valiantly for her side, taking two singles wins (against Helen Frania in four sets, and Sam Hensgen in three), but the only other rubber her side could manage was a win by Michael Hensgen against Helen Frania to give the side some hope at 4-3.

Fishers, however, had too much firepower, and with Keegan playing in the next two rubbers, finished the match after nine rubbers.

Mallee Bearings will certainly be disappointed at their lacklustre showing here, but if they can find a bit more consistency in their play next week, they may well find themselves in the Grand Final.

Preliminary Final next Wednesday: Mallee Bearings vs. Weightmans Packaging

 

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